Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ELEGY ON JEFFERSON DAVIS, by JOHN ORLEY ALLEN TATE



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ELEGY ON JEFFERSON DAVIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: No more the white refulgent streets
Last Line: Orestes fled in night and day.
Alternate Author Name(s): Tate, Allen
Subject(s): American Civil War; Confederate States Of America; Consolation; Davis, Jefferson (1808-1889); U.s. - History; Confederacy


No more the white refulgent streets,
Never the dry hollows of the mind
Shall he in fine courtesy walk
Again, for death is not unkind.

A civil war cast on his fame,
The four years' odium of strife
Unbodies his dust; love cannot warm
His tall corpuscles to this life.

What will we gain? What did we lose?
Be still: grief for the pious dead
Suspires from bosoms of kind souls
Lavender-wise, propped up in bed.

Our loss put six feet under ground
Is measured by the magnolia's root;
Our gain's the intellectual sound
Of death's feet round a weedy tomb.

In the back chambers of the State
(Just preterition for his crimes)
We curse him to our busy sky
Who's busy in a hell of a hundred times

A day, though profitless his task,
Heedless what Belial may say -
He who wore out the perfect mask
Orestes fled in night and day.





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